Sunday, August 26, 2007

Summary of Evolution

Evolution and faith based science continues to fascinate me. If I understand science this is describes in simple detail how we got to be where we are today – enlightened but relatively pointless pieces of protoplasm. And it all began with – nothing – nothing at all. In the beginning there was nothing, no space, no time, no mass, and no energy. Then there was a huge explosion called the “Big Bang” by scientists and God’s cosmic Belch by Creationists. In this primordial instant there was nothing and then all of the energy in the universe was created in a flash along with the space needed for the energy. At this point it gets a little tricky because where did the space come from? Was it always there? Can space exist without anything occupying it? Did the creation of all of this energy simultaneously create the space required? How much space was created in this primordial moment – all of it – or just enough to contain the energy and that space continues to expand and will continue to expand either indefinitely or until the “Big Crunch”. If the “Big Crunch” occurs what will happen to all of that mass and energy? Will everything disappear or simply restart? If it does then how did it all begin in the first place? The Big Bang of course defies the Law of Entropy but then the Big Crunch follows the Law of Entropy. It’s all very confusing but scientists – who are very wise men—tell us that this is the way it was and they have written very weighty books on the subject so it must be true, We are expected to believe these high priests of materialism and set aside those aggravating questions which they cannot answer.

So if we accept the scientific explanation for the beginning on faith, even though they really don’t have any answers for the really tough questions, we can move on to the next steps. Following the Big Bang the Universe was a whirling mass of energy composed of protons, electrons, and presumably neutrons. These represented the total number that was ever to be created (Laws of Conservation of Energy and Mass). But as these particles whirled about they collided and over time created all of the Stars, the Planets, and of course all of the elements that make these up. Among all of these millions of stars and planets, the Earth came into being and as it cooled the mountains and seas formed. So we now had a planet with oceans but no life – not a trace.

During the period of coalescence all of the minerals were formed, including Carbon – which we observe today in its many forms ranging from soot to diamonds. How it existed in its primordial state is not actually known but some form must have been present in the oceans. This is the logical conclusion reached by those wise men called scientists so it must be true, besides, life began in the oceans (didn’t it?) so Carbon atoms must have been present or even Carbon based molecules. And then the miracle happened, but in science there are no miracles so there was a random chance event. The Sun is constantly showering the Earth with particles and cosmic rays and one of these little particles – who we can call Bob – hit one of these Carbon Molecules causing it to join with another Carbon Molecule – who we can call Stella – and these happily married molecules began to split and reproduce – thus giving life to the Earth. Not a miracle but a chance event that hasn’t happened again and has never been observed, but this must be the way it happened.

Now random Carbon Molecules reproducing like mad only give you more of the same thing and are really not very useful but gradually these common molecules (Clara and Phil) combined and formed Chlorophyll and Pond Scum. Not a very dignified beginning for mankind but then we all have to start somewhere. Of course – as they say – the rest is history. The benevolent Sun continued to shower the Earth with Cosmic particles and these allowed the descendants of Clara and Phil to morph into sea weed and algae. Eventually these rascally reproducing molecules combined to form a worm, which was the next step up the evolutionary ladder because the worm was alive and mobile. Precisely how this worm achieved life is a little vague but it undoubtedly happened because Pre-Cambrian fossils show worm burrows. But the stage was now set the next huge step forward – The Cambrian Explosion.

At the opening of the Cambrian Period the seas were teeming with complex life forms, primarily Trilobites, but Trilobites with eyes, digestive systems, complex organs, appendages, and hard shells. How these came about or where all of this life came from is unknown but we are assured that it was through some random evolutionary event. From this point on, science assures us that Evolution picked up steam and ever more complex life forms evolved, lived, and became extinct making way for newer and more complex life forms. This inexorable march of life resulted in all of species with each one springing from a predecessor and ultimately resulting in Homo sapiens. Of course precisely how this happened is not known because there is no evidence of one species morphing into another, but scientists assure us this is what happens and we must believe them because after all THEY are scientists and learned wise men.

When critically examined evolution seems to be nothing other than a series of random events that occurred millions of years ago but for some mysterious reason have ceased to occur since no new species has emerged in historical times. Nevertheless, we continue to have faith that science and scientists have the answers.

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